Know Him, without His names || (2016)

Acharya Prashant
3 min readJun 18, 2024


When you teach a child that a bird is named ‘bird’, the child will never see the bird again. ~ J. Krishnamurti

Acharya Prashant (AP): Beautiful quotation.

Because naming comes with a total bundle of association, references, memories, past, prejudices. Having named something, having tagged or labeled something, you are no more in direct touch with that thing. Now, you are in touch with the name and not the thing. Getting it?

It takes a beauty; beauty that lies in mystical unknowing. Now, you know. We have four rabbits here (at AdvaitBodh Sthal), deliberately we have refrained from naming them, one of them carries a name but the other three do not have names. And it is beautiful and we often do not know who is who. They are all white, alike.

What else are identities, what else are relationships?


When something takes a name, it takes a lot of meaning. Now, it is not merely a person; the fellow is now a story. The name is the pointer to that story. Yes? The naming may not exclusively belong to the language. You may not name somebody but the face, now serves as a name. It’s more about using memory rather than direct and immediate realization.

I look at you, and I can use your name to dig into memory and get information about you. I say, “He is Amit”, and the old storybook opens and then everything about Amit is disclosed. And I may not give you a name, or I may not know your name but I know your face and I may use the face as index or pointer. And then, the same storybook opens.

So, it is not about having a word as a name; it is about a way of living. There is a way of living that relies on memory, that relies on security and past, that relies on storybooks — this is one particular way of living.

There is another way of living that is bold, comfortable. It does not rely on names and associations. It lives directly, immediately, it is not carrying wounds from the past, it has no course to settle. You meet me in the morning and I looked at you not greatly bothered by what you did in the night. What you did in the night has faded away with the night. It’s a new morning. The storybook contains all that you did but I am not obliged to keep referring to the storybook.

The storybook is there, if needed, I will refer to it and dig out information from it but it is not a compulsive thing. It is not an obligation upon me to be sucked into memories the moment I look at your face. “Oh! You are the same man who betrayed me once.” Now, I cannot have any new, fresh and real relationship with you because all that I remember is the event that happened five years back.

That is one way of living.

You want to live that way? That is the way of naming.

Questioner: This is quite shocking because it makes the educational system and everything, a complete falsehood.

AP: Anything that fills you up with knowledge, would obviously take away your sense of wonderment. And if there is no wonderment, there is no mysticism possible. Then, you will behave a scholar who knows everything about everything, or at least aspires to, or at least knows from where information can be obtained. This scholar leaves nothing beyond himself. He says, “All that is there is knowable by the mind.”